Why Do Instagram Likes Still Matter? 10 Tips To Content and Posting Plans To Get More Likes
A significant direct engagement signal on Instagram since its inception is likes.
Likes are an indicator of a post’s popular reception, and they enable the build-up of trust and social proof for any brand or business. Likes have so much power to psychologically tailor a post’s reception that, in most cases, likes attract more likes and cause well-received content to go viral. However, during the recent pandemic, as more and more people spent long hours on social media, companies like Instagram undertook several experiments to ensure they could responsibly contribute to building an environment for sound mental health for their users.
One of these tests was on the importance of likes contributing to peer pressure and self-perception among social media users. After running a series of tests whose results remain inconclusive, Instagram decided to introduce the feature of hiding likes. Hiding likes enabled every individual user to control whether they chose to see the counter of hearts on their feeds/ posts or not.
Do Likes Still Matter?
Actually, yes. Instagram has only introduced a feature of hiding likes. IG users can still leave a like on the content they enjoy, and the counter would still move up. We cannot see it when the post has its counter hidden. The algorithms that decide content visibility and reach still register every like given to the publication.
So, likes haven’t turned into mere vanity metrics that affect mass psychology, and they are still an essential determinant of the possible reach and exposure any content can get. Businesses should continue to aim to collect more hearts in a bid to increase engagement rates. Let’s take a better look at how likes still matter.
Top Reasons Why You Need to Try Still and Get More Likes on Your IG Posts
Here is what likes can do for your IG presence
- Hidden or Visible, the various algorithms operating IG count likes as direct engagement. They use it to determine who gets to see your content and when.
- Visible Likes are a strong influence on social psychology. They build social proof and authenticate the quality of your post for other IG users, thus luring them to interact with your post.
- Likes enable accounts to claim favorable popular reception for their content.
- Likes can create an environment conducive to increasing sales potential and consumer retention.
What Can You Do to Attract More Likes on Instagram?
Create High-Quality Content
It goes without saying. The most organic and foolproof way to gain likes is to create content that leaves lasting impressions. Content that naturally invites the viewer to engage with it and shows its appreciation is the best type of content to get more likes. Even if you keep your counter hidden, rest assured that your visitors leave you likes each time you put out great content. Hiding likes may affect mass psychology, but if you aim to create opportunities for audience retention, create content that will speak to your target audience. When creating a post:
- Think out the theme and composition of your photo/ video carefully;
- Use good resolution for posting;
- Ensure there is good lighting and minimal noise interference;
- Have clarity of focus in your vision;
- When you use captions and hashtags, ensure they match the visuals posted.
Creating content, do not forget to ensure that your posts associate with your business ethics and brand image. After all, you are humanizing your brand with the account. Some publications that are great at attracting likes include:
- Behind the scenes posts;
- DIY/How-To/Tutorial posts;
- Interviews and feedback;
- Live videos;
- Collaborative posts;
- Entertaining and feel-good posts.
Focus on Building Communication
Being social on social media should come naturally to account holders. Unfortunately, to sell and make profits, many professionals have forgotten the art of holding conversations and building a healthy communication system with their:
- Industry mates,
- Potential clients.
Keep in mind that maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships is crucial for sustained professional growth. After all, getting several likes on one post and then getting little to no engagement on other posts hardly help in establishing brand value. It would be best if you had a consistent online marketing strategy that makes it easier for you to get an overall growth in likes and other forms of engagement over a sustained period. More importantly, your marketing needs to focus on audience retention and conversions.
When interacting with others, it is crucial to be kind and professional. How you conduct your conversations and respond can build or break your image as a business. You can get likes not just on posts but also on how you react to others. Ensure that you are collecting hearts on what you say and how you say it.
Optimize the Use of Hashtags
You cannot have a successful marketing strategy on Instagram without having a fail-safe hashtag strategy in place. After all, this is Instagram’s substitute for SEO keywords. The right hashtags can propel your visibility in Search and bring you your ideal audience. Getting likes from this circle of IG users is far more critical for your business than getting random likes, as this group of people has the potential to turn into your customers and bring your business brand value as well as sales. Therefore, perfecting the hashtag strategy is a necessary skill if you wish to increase any form of valuable interaction on your account. Remember not to overuse hashtags. Create a few that will remain unique to your brand, as this will help you build brand identity faster.
Invest in Instagram Ads
Although paid promotions do not have the same retention as organic content, advertising can be a prudent choice for any business looking to beat millions of competitors vying for the attention of the same target audience. Set aside a budget for in-platform paid promotions and advertising. Instagram Ads allow you to determine your budget, target audiences, and landing page for any traffic. Moreover, these ads boost your position on feeds as the IG algorithms give you preferential exposure for the duration of your ad placement. You could create a new post for the purpose or reuse an old post. A publication in promotional status is likely to draw more likes from new audiences and bring you more followers too.
Find the Right Time to Post
It is a crucial means of attracting the most likes in the shortest time. If a post can get great engagement during its first few moments of getting published, the algorithms give it greater exposure on the platform. To optimize this, you need to study your intended audience’s online behavior and post content when they are most active. If the time of activity detected overlaps with when you are unable to be online, consider using a post scheduler to publish the content at a preset time automatically. Being thorough in your research will yield the best results.
Stick to a Posting Schedule
Create a posting schedule based on your understanding of your target consumer behavior. Incorporate posts of various formats and keep the plan consistent. You can auto-schedule posts if necessary. When you can create audience anticipation, you will find your audience increasing. Along with it, your reception of hearts and saves is also likely to see a considerable increase. To complete your posting strategy, ensure you have incorporated teasers, announcements, cliffhangers, and the like to build reasonable audience anticipation before releasing any key post.
It is a quick and sure way to raise your engagement rates as and when needed. If you are aiming specifically to increase likes, then make leaving a heart on your contest details (or a select post) an entry requirement for the contest. You will be surprised by how many likes you can take up using this strategy. Of course, you need to keep the competition genuine and deliver the rewards as promised. This way, you build goodwill and gain followers who are likely to convert into potential customers. You can also expect the participants to come back for more contests and giveaways from you.
Influencers have active, loyal followers who will be willing to trust your brand if the influencers speak in your favor. If you want to increase likes on your content, get a professional to endorse you in their way. Since brands cannot usually dictate an influencer’s content, their approval for you brings your brand trust and credibility. Depending on your budget and goals, you can choose to use the services of
- Mega-influencers. These are influencers with more than a million followers.
- Macro-influencers. This set of influencers can have anywhere between 500K to 1 million followers.
- Mid-tier influencers. Any influencer with 50K to 500K followers falls in this category.
- Micro-influencers. This set of influencers has about 10K to 50K followers.
- Nano-influencers. This category of influencers has roughly 1K to 10K followers.
Instagram now allows you to add shopping tags to most content forms. If you are eligible to do so and have all the correct details, consider making Shoppable posts. You are guaranteed to receive more likes and comments on your posts, and you will also gain some loyal customers in the process. Add shopping tags to your posts and videos. You can enhance your ads with shopping tags too. In addition, you can add CTA buttons to your profile that will allow visitors to make a reservation or complete a booking with you using a third-party platform. The ability to navigate through Instagram like any e-site will get you more hearts, comments, and saves.
Pay attention to the Market Trends
While it is crucial to be unique and stand out from the crowd, sometimes going with the flow can get you the desired popularity and reach twice as fast. Keep abreast of the latest trends and fads. Brainstorm how to incorporate these into your content creations without compromising your business values, needs, and ethics. Research and keep ahead of the times to stay successful on the platform. When keeping yourself updated, do not forget to experiment and get innovative with different content formats. Create Reels, Stories, and Go Live. Do not restrict yourself to static photos and regular videos. Also, remember to use inbuilt features like stickers, music, polls, and other such enhancements to your advantage.
To Sum It Up
Keep your focus on organic growth for your account, and increasing the number of likes will fall in as a natural sub-requirement of your more extensive project. Hiding likes may have taken off the psychological pressure on a few IG users, but it doesn’t not in any way change how Instagram uses like for its internal operations. So, continue to aim for an increase in likes received when you strategize your content creation if you want to build social proof and strong brand recognition.
Keep in mind meaningful and relatable content shall always invite engagement regardless of whether the engagement counter gets hidden or not. Likes still matter, so keep creating content that organically attracts more likes. You will not be disappointed with the final results.